ANNAPOLIS, MD— Ukrainian fighters and civilians in the Odesa region of Ukraine will soon be receiving millions of dollars in medical supplies and body armor, to support the people of Odesa, a sister city of Baltimore.
“The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is donating more than 485,000 bandages and wound care supplies, 95 Eternity mechanical ventilators for hospital intensive care units, and 50 Astral portable ventilators. The aid package also includes nearly 200 pieces of body armor, consisting of tactical vests and shields, which have been donated by the Maryland State Police,” Governor Larry Hogan’s office said in a statement.
The governor made the announcement at an MDH warehouse facility in Hanover, joined by Yaroslav Brisiuck, Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Ukraine; Karina Mandell, chair of the Baltimore-Odesa Sister City Committee; Dr. William Chester of the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation; and Maryna Baydyuk and Boris Levonenko of United Help Ukraine.
“The atrocities taking place in Ukraine have served as a reminder to all of us of exactly why strong ties and alliances are so critical, and why it is so important that we do whatever we can to support our allies in their time of need,” said Governor Hogan. “I want to thank our entire state government team for working around the clock over the past week to make this possible, along with the Baltimore-Odesa Sister City Committee, which has been indispensable in helping us coordinate efforts on the ground.”
Additional medical supplies have been donated to the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation (PCCHF)—a Dickerson-based grassroots medical organization that provides surgical care to people in developing countries—to support the treatment of children and adults wounded during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This is the second donation of medical supplies that the state has made to Ukraine in recent weeks. In March, the governor announced that the state was working with PCCHF to donate to portable ventilators to treat patients at front line hospitals in Ukraine.
“We stand ready to continue to assist Ukraine in any way we can,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “This additional donation of ventilators, bandages, and other medical supplies will help care for Ukrainians wounded and suffering throughout the country.”
Today’s announcement follows the governor’s teleconference last month with Odesa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov.
“Our friendship, support, and mutual assistance with our sister city Baltimore is 47 years old and we are grateful that you are with us today,” said Mayor Trukhanov. oh t“Now, your support is more important than ever. Thank you for your leadership.”
“This is the second time that my foundation, PCCHF, has had the great fortune to work with the Maryland government in supporting Ukraine,” said Dr. William Chester, PCCHF co-founder. “I’ve been extremely impressed with the efficiency and enthusiasm of everyone from the Governor’s staff, Department of Health, and warehouse logistics team. The partnership of United Help Ukraine, PCCHF and the state of Maryland has been able within a week to turn a request from a struggling Ukrainian city into a multimillion dollar aid delivery. The Ukrainian doctors on the receiving end of this effort are immensely grateful for all your efforts.”
The Maryland Department of General Services and United Help Ukraine—a grassroots organization that collects and supplies medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine—is providing logistical and other support. The ventilators will depart the United States tomorrow and the other supplies should depart soon and arrive in Ukraine, including in the Baltimore sister city of Odesa, in the coming days and weeks.